Congratulations me. I’ve made it to one year. Well, one year and four days to be precise – timekeeping hasn’t been my forte recently. Nevertheless, my first annum in blogging has been as enjoyable as it has enlightening: I’ve discovered and subsequently learnt an awful lot about blogging, networking, writing and the benefits of social media, and relished every minute of it.
Watching this blog slowly grow gives me an enormous sense of satisfaction, though I suppose, not unlike many other expat bloggers out there, I started this thing so I could update/beleaguer my friends and family back home with some nice photos and whimsical anecdotes. Yet now it’s the thing that drives me and makes me feel purposeful, and has recently begun to open doors that seem to be leading to nice places. And for that, I thank all of YOU for clicking, commenting, sharing and (slight cringe) ‘liking’ the stuff I put out on here.
In terms of visible progress. I’ve been saying for months that I’ll give this blog a much-needed makeover – I may make the switch to WordPress.org (thoughts?) – yet, as was touched on a couple of posts back, this still hasn’t happened, but it will happen – soon! In the meantime, I thought I’d share a few stats with any of you who can be bothered to read on. There are a few interesting ones in there that may surprise you as much as they surprised me. And, of course, plenty of honourable mentions! So…
Number of posts: 70 (goal for year 2: write less and post more)
Most viewed post: Six of the best: Beaches in Andalucia (…by a long way. People just love beaches.)
Second most viewed: Top 10 Tapas Bars in Granada (technically not even what it says it is, as this was a shameless plug/link for an entry into a competition that I came nowhere near to winning. Still, I suppose Expats Blog will be glad of the extra traffic.)
Least viewed: Granada CF vs Athletic Club Bilbao (turns out ‘football blogging’ isn’t and probably never will be a craze to sweep the blogosphere.)
Most commented on: Should I stay or should I go? Expat advice needed… (this post was rather profound considering the general inanity and lightheartedness of everything else I post on here. I needed advice and you guys provided it :))
Most shared: Spain 101: Bureaucracy (rants aren’t really my thing but this one just had to come out and evidently people appreciated it for one reason or another.)
Top Commenter: Marriane of East Of Malaga! (has mentioned me on her own great blog twice since she thankfully stumbled upon mine shortly after I got started. And she introduced me to what has now become an invaluable social media sharing group. Get over and check her out if you haven’t already! Gracias Marriane!)
Most clicked on (discounting ‘Top Ten Tapas’ link to Expats Blog and personal social media links: Scribbler in Seville (another valued reader and blogging friend, Fiona, who has featured here as part of the ‘Spanish Inquisition’ series, has deservedly amassed the most amount of clicks from this blog to her own. Click here to keep her momentum going.)
Highest referrers: Britishexpats.com (one day somebody randomly posted a link to my ‘Teaching English in Spain’ page on a really popular thread and my site got bombarded with hits. So thanks anonymous British expat!) and piccavey.com (Molly’s Granada based blog that has been great to connect with!)
Number of spam comments blocked by Akismet: 39,225 (ok, boring stat, but just how does Akismet do it? Whoever he is, he’s a pretty handy guy to have around, so cheers Akismet.)
Most used search term: ‘andalucia spain’ (…unsurprisingly. However in second place is the term ‘shawarma’, which I discussed in a very poetic piece in my first month of blogging. Love it or hate it, it’s part of food culture out here!)
Most amusing search term: ‘spain women looking for pleasure’ (I suppose I should have anticipated something along those lines coming up with a name like ‘Spain For Pleasure’, though the vague kinkiness of it really didn’t register at the time of choosing my domain. Meh. Traffic’s traffic.)
My favourite post: Project Piste 2 Playa: Granada’s Ultimate Daytrip (I loved writing this nearly as much as I loved actually doing it. A morning spent snowboarding followed by an afternoon on a nudist beach sums up quite nicely just how amazing life out here in Granada is.)
Best travel post: Ronda on a whim (I know, this is isn’t a stat at all – I’m just getting a bit carried away to tell the truth – but occasionally I do like to write about my adventures and this one was the best of last year.)
I think that’s enough of that now. Once again thanks for sticking with me and I hope you’ll remain firmly stuck for at least another year. Who knows, my next post might actually be about Spain again! Either that or ‘Spain women looking for pleasure’. Got to keep all your readers satisfied after all!